The Effects of High School Peers' Gender on College Major, College Performance and Income

47 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2016

See all articles by Massimo Anelli

Massimo Anelli

Bocconi University; CESifo; IZA; Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics; Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

Using an originally constructed dataset that follows 30,000 Italian individuals from high school to the labor market, we analyze whether the gender composition of peers in high school affected their choice of college major, their academic performance and their labor market income. We exploit the within-school, cohort-by-cohort variation in the gender composition of high school classmates (peers), after controlling for school and teachers fixed effects. We find that male students graduating from classes with a large majority of male peers were more likely to choose “prevalently male” (PM) college majors (Economics, Business and Engineering). However, this impact was partially undone during college through attrition, worse academic performance and change in major. And in the long run it did not produce any difference in income or labor market outcomes. We do not find significant effects of the high school class gender composition on women. Our results are consistent with the fact that individuals are affected by the choice/pressure of the network of friends and with the observation that network size responds to class gender composition more for men than for women.

Keywords: peer effects, high school, gender, networks, choice of college major, academic performance, wages

JEL Classification: I210, J160, J240, J310, Z130

Suggested Citation

Anelli, Massimo and Peri, Giovanni, The Effects of High School Peers' Gender on College Major, College Performance and Income (July 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2829292

Massimo Anelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti ( email )

Via Roentgen 1,
Room 5.C1-11
Milan, Milano 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.frdb.org

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
220
PlumX Metrics